Photo Courtesy of William Foster
A new club has arrived on campus for students with a passion in cycling or bikes. The Bulldog Cycling Club hopes to bring together students with a passion for leisure, competition or commuting cycling.
Club President William Foster said he is excited to bring the club to Fresno State because cycling and the public scene in Fresno is huge.
“There are half a dozen public cycling teams in Fresno and a number of bike shops,” Foster said.
This is the third time that the club has been on campus after folding the previous times. The club originally began in the 1980s, and was fairly big on campus until around the mid-1990s.
The club was then brought back around 2006, and was introduced to the campus for the third time this last January.
“We want to stress that we are open to all types of cyclists,” club secretary Trent Sherman said. “If you have a love of riding and own a bike, we encourage you to join.”
The club plans to do a lot of different things this time, and stresses the fact that it is open to anyone not just those that are heavily into racing.
The clubs activities will include things such as maintenance, safety and nutrition workshops, fun rides and socials to involve all club members.
The club is also willing to help people find bikes whether it is for competition or commuting.
While open to anyone with an interest in cycling, the club is also in the works to become an official club sport on campus. Starting next fall, Fresno State will recognize the club as official club sport. The club will then be eligible to compete with other universities through USAC Collegiate Cycling — which is in charge of 4,500 collegiate athletes.
USA Cycling manages all amateur and professional levels of cycling. They manage everything from high school cyclists and teams to professional ones competing in things such as the Tour de France.
The club will begin playing in the West Coast Cycling Conference next fall. The conference features California schools and teams from Nevada. The conference currently features 21 schools, but will expand to 22 teams with the addition of the Bulldog Cycling Club.
The club currently consists of 12 members including eight men and four women with 26 others on the contact list. The club hopes to one day expand to the size of the powerhouse teams in the conference such as Cal Poly and University of California, Davis.
Competition works by categorizing riders as A-E riders — A being the most skilled, and E being the least skilled or newer riders.
The different styles of riding are road, mountain, track and cyclocross. Cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing that combines the road and mountains.
The teams are also co-ed, but the men compete against each other and the women race against women. The scoring for the teams works by taking the scores of all categories of riders and genders, and combining them into one team score to determine the team’s final score. This means that the men and women and Category A-E riders are all equally important.
“You don’t have to be a Category A to be important to the team, all are equal,” club vice president Syd Newson said. “We are also very willing to help the newer members.”